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urbancowboy 01-24-2013 11:17 PM

Trap? Skeet? Sporting Clays?
there must be some shotgun guys lurking around here.

i'm interested in learning more about these sports.

i've shot maybe a half dozen rounds of trap in my life, one round of skeet, and two rounds of sporting clays.

can i be an "enthusiast" with all three using (owning) one gun? if so, which gun can do it all?

a guy at work just mentioned today that he has a never-fired baretta blackwing 12g o/u that he won as a door prize years ago. he's interested in selling it to me for under 1k. a quick google search reveals that the blackwing might be worth more, but is designed for hunting, and is too light for sport.

what say the experts?

what about a remington 870? i know i'd be the only guy at the club using a pump, but why is that?

let's hear it.

sailah 01-25-2013 07:08 AM

I'm more of a trap shooter but I also shoot skeet a dozen times a year.

I'm usually a 95/100 trap shooter, my best round of skeet is a 22/25. I'm terrible at sporting clays and five stand though and it pisses me off:lol3

For an all in one gun, it's kinda like bikes. Yes you can do it but not ideal.

For trap I shoot a browning bt 99 with 34" single barrel. My best round ever I shot 174/175 with that gun. It's probably a sub $1000 used gun. I've shot $10,000 perazzis and many others with fancy ass crap but the one I hit consistently with is the one that feels like a glove in my hand. With a single barrel you are limited to just regular trap. Obviously can't shoot doubles etc

Skeet you really want a double barrel to not handicap yourself. I shoot an over under charles daly 20, 26" barrels choked skeet/skeet. I like it very quick also my bird gun.

If I were you I'd buy an over under from a name brand with 30" barrels. It will be able to choke for skeet and trap and sporting. Make sure it comes with chokes. A beretta or browning are solid choices and you can easily resell and upgrade down the road.

Many clubs and shooters frown on semi autos and pumps for the sole reason that the ejecting shells can annoy the next shooter. I've been hit in the face with shells and it if

sailah 01-25-2013 07:29 AM

Sorry got cut off.

Pumps and semis ejecting shells can be annoying but I wouldn't personally be a dick about it but I do know some shooters who are pricks about it.

Bottom line buy a 12 gauge 30" barrel over under probably used under a grand and see if you like it you can easily get out of a name brand gun and barely lose a penny.

And keep your head down until the bird breaks:deal

sailah 01-25-2013 07:41 AM

Light guns are great for hunting because you don't want to haul around a heavy gun in the field. They also kick more. You want a heavier gun for the sporting events because the less recoil the less likely you are to flinch.

Having a gun that fits you is extremely important as is practice with the same gun. I'm really good with my gun which is a junker compared to others but I sometimes struggle picking up a new fancy gun because the point of impact is different and my sight pattern is off. I also don't use a front sight, just my personal preference.

I would suggest going to a real shotgun outfit not a cabelas type store. Handle a bunch of guns and see what fits you stock length and can you get your head down on it well. I know the browning xt is a favorite gun, hate it can't get my head down on it. I find berettas all fit me well and they shoot nice.

If you are really looking fir a solid first gun and $1000 is about your budget I would highly recommend going to a dedicated shooting store and telling the guy exactly what you know which isn't much and have him help you pick out a gun. My bil has a berretta onyx and thats also a nice gun and not crazy money

Heyload 01-25-2013 07:54 AM

I got into skeet when a buddy of mine took me out to the Rod & Gun club on base. It's alot of fun.

I was using a Remington 1187 with a 26-inch barrel. Very versatile field gun and worked equally well for skeet or ducks.

Don't let the "over and under" snobs turn you off, either. The point is to have fun and enjoy yourself. I wore two pouches, one for live rounds and one for the spent shells. Showing up with the latest "tacticool" shotgun will probably get you laughed at, though.

One old man who was a regular at the club used a 410 pump, and could bust 25 out of 25 like clockwork.

They used to have the Skeet Nationals here in San Antonio, just down the road from my house. Not sure if they still do, though.

ShadyRascal 01-25-2013 08:08 AM

My son was on the trap team for a couple of years and used a Browning semi-auto. He loves that gun, and you can shoot it all day without getting beat up. He put this little flip-up wire guard on there to keep the empties from flying out and causing distractions.

I have a lightweight 12 gauge O/U (Beretta White Wing) and when I shoot a round of sporting clays I'm beat up pretty good. I would get a little heavier gun for an over under if this were it's main purpose.

I used pump guns for many many years in the field. The first time I shot sporting clays the guys I was with were laughing at how fast I cycled the gun for the true pairs. It was just reflex from decades of upland bird hunting with no dogs. I had to get lead out there fast! But the ol' 870 worked just fine for sporting clays, I enjoyed it.

As referenced, fit is everything.

I love watching the Trap guys head for the 5 stand or the sporting clays and get their heads handed to them. :lol3

Manuel Garcia O'Kely 01-25-2013 11:53 AM

I am by no means an expert, but I've shot a few clays. Reactive targets are a lot of fun anyway.

I've got a .410, 20 and 12 ga. The first two are pump, the latter is a Browning Superpoised O/U.

From a cost standpoint, the 12 gauge is the "9 mm" of the shotgun world - the most variety and usually lowest per shot cost for ammo.

The 20 is very effective and won't kick you nearly as hard.

The .410 in the hands of a really good shot is fun to watch - and it might be a good way to learn, but I like hitting my targets more.

One reason doubles are popular is because they are shorter and easier to swing for the same barrel length. The second shot may or may not be as fast with a pump or auto.

I had a Browning A5 12 gauge autoloader and found that it was just way too much gun to swing around, and the action cycling was really annoying to me.

As to the fit, etc., I agree with the above.

Regarding used shotguns: IF you plan to ever shoot live birds, a steel shot approved barrel is worth having - my Browning O/U was built long before steel shot and using steel in it would likely bulge the barrel. No waterfowl hunting with it with steel - now they do have tin-bismuth.

Dysco 01-25-2013 12:15 PM

I think we have a local trap range, but I usually go to the public range and just throw clays of various sizes to tune up for hunting. I shot about 50lbs of lead at target last summer. I have a Benelli M2 in 20ga that'll break anything, and I've been dying to get behind an automatic thrower, but bird seasons got in the way.... since Sept 1. :lol3

adam_c_eckhardt 01-25-2013 01:41 PM


We used to shoot sporting clays at a place I used to work out West. I'd like to learn more.

Dysco 01-25-2013 02:05 PM


Originally Posted by Manuel Garcia O'Kely (Post 20573584)
Regarding used shotguns: IF you plan to ever shoot live birds, a steel shot approved barrel is worth having - my Browning O/U was built long before steel shot and using steel in it would likely bulge the barrel. No waterfowl hunting with it with steel - now they do have tin-bismuth.

This. A hunting shotgun will manage shooting sports WAY better than a specialized shotgun will handle hunting. Stay over 7lbs and you're golden. My buddy shoots a CZ lightweight and at 6lbs, it's not something you want to keep shooting all day. :lol3

gofast1320 01-25-2013 03:48 PM

trap, skeet and sporting clays
Go to your local gun range where those disciplines are offered. Tell the rangemaster you are interested in learning more about them and want watch and talk to some different shooters and learn what they are shooting. At the local range here the SCTP kids both college and high school like the Berettas 686 models. You see a bunch of the Benelli aemi- autos and occasionally the 870 and 1100, 1187 guns
For every gun snob you run in to you'll meet half a dozen folks eager to help you.

thouk 01-25-2013 08:59 PM

If it is...
If you do go with the Beretta and it is too light they make weights that can be added to the side of the barrels under the foreend that would help. You could also add a weight to the stock to help rebalance it. I hope that helps. Tony
P.s. I am one of the lucky people to have my own thrower, Atlas At-50. It has a wireless remote on a foot switch to help in changing positions.

Thisguy 01-26-2013 09:46 AM

I love O/U just because they look cool. I did start off with a 1100 "trap" model which I used and loved. Having the gun fitted or having it fit comfortably and consistent is a must. I found myself placing half of the butt on my upper shoulder to get the comb high enough. If I would have kept it, I would have definitely bought an adjustable butt. With my 1100, I had a device that set in the ejection port so the spent shell would hang up.

I ended up buying a used 30" Winchester Select Energy, which is the one you shot. It had all the gadgets if a Browning for prob half the price.

If I were you, definitely look for a "Trap or skeet" model, you are not going to be hunting. They cost a little more, but you will end up saving money if you ever try to add any of the options. Prob a 28" barrel would suit you because I know you liked the sporting clays a little more then trap. Look for interchangeable chokes, so you can shoot different disciplines.

This is the same gun I bought with a 28" barrel. I paid $1k shipped used with a ding or 2.

Here is an 1100 trap with some extras

Remember, theses guns are going to be used and not safe queens.

Thisguy 01-26-2013 10:01 AM

I forgot to mention theses guys. Stoeger makes a pretty good gun for the money. For under $600 you have a very nice sporting clay gun. There are a lot of good reviews. Is it as nice as a Browning or Beretta? No, but the price is a lot less also.

mendoje 01-26-2013 10:28 AM

I shot trap, skeet, and sporting clays for a several years, and I have a couple purpose built guns for same. But when I started out, ALL of my very experienced clay target friends said to get a good 12ga autoloader as a first gun, perfect for all the games. I ended up with a used 12ga Beretta A303 with two barrels, a 30" with interchangeable chokes, which is perfect for trap and sporting clays, and a shorter 26" with fixed "skeet" choke, for skeet of course. When shooting singles in trap, as someone mentioned, you can get a little sheet metal clip which snaps on the side of the receiver to catch the ejecting hull. Another good autoloader is a Remington 1187 which has been mentioned. My A303 is still my absolute favorite shotgun, ahead of my Browning BT99 and Beretta 682 O/U. Regarding autoloaders, I've NEVER run across another shooter who had an issue about them, whether in competion or just informal practice. I'd say if you run into one, he's just an old crochety a-hole. Now, compensated or ported barrels are another matter, whether they are single shot or autoloaders, they are obnoxious!

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